As the hangover wears off each new year, countless people aim for self-improvement, and finding balance; the journey for a “new you” begins. However, research shows that only half of New Year’s resolutions make it past January. Most people want to change too much at one time and end up setting unrealistic goals for themselves. Check out these tips from an actual nutritionist and yoga instructor to help navigate your personal goals to live a healthier life. 

Amy Kline is a medical provider that specializes in nutrition and weight management as well as a certified Yoga Instructor.**

finding balance in 2022 | kiss and tell

According to Amy, the most important aspect of nutrition when consulting with a client is to find out what they want. “If you try to tell them what to do, and it’s something they don’t want to do, it’s not going to work,” she said. Amy watched family members struggle and personally struggled with weight throughout her life, which led to a lifelong interest in nutrition. 

Every January, Amy experiences an influx of patients looking to become healthier in the new year, yet, many people give up on that goal within a few months. Some common mistakes when making a resolution to be healthier are: setting a number of goals for weight loss, listening to a celebrity or influencer’s nutritional advice or dieting tactics, and basing food choices on what you see online. Amy found the most common mistake she sees is restrictive diets-cutting out food groups and important nutrients. “Restricting your diet can lead to binging or overindulging,” she said. “It is better to add healthy food to your diet rather than taking food away from it.” 

Any restrictive diet does not work long term,” she continued. “It is about making lasting, lifelong changes.” It is better to find a balance and take it one step at a time versus having the mindset, I’m going to change it all right now. She noted that for short-term, fast results, restrictive dieting does work.

Along with finding balance in your diet, it is important to find balance when it comes to exercising. “Excessive exercise does not give you the benefits that you need,” said Amy. “Working out too much can activate a part of your nervous system that causes stress and you can’t lose weight.”

finding balance in 2022 | kiss and tell

She explained exercise typically reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, but without proper recovery and over-exercising, you can actually elevate levels of cortisol in the bloodstream and heighten symptoms of physical stress. “Over-exercising will burn a lot of calories, but it doesn’t make you lose a significant amount of weight,” she said. “It’s all about balance.”

That being said, any little bit of exercise is better than none at all. Plus, staying active will keep your heart healthy. Amy said, “find what works for you and your routine,” and emphasized the importance of stretching every day.

Practicing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness releases rest and relaxation hormones, allowing you to lose weight (and make you healthier overall!).  Although you’re not burning as many calories when you do yoga, your body is more likely to lose weight because of that release of stress. 

The most important thing with yoga is that it teaches you to live in the here and now,” she said. “People who practice mindfulness will not eat mindlessly.” Amy found that she learned a lot about mindfulness during her yoga training, which actually helped her look at nutrition (and life) from a new perspective. 

Emotional eating is the inclination to eat in response to positive or negative emotions. Repetitive emotional eating can result in numerous weight-related health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and fatigue. 

Breathing | Kiss and Tell

When you’re physically hungry, anything sounds good. In contrast, emotional hunger craves junk food or sugary snacks and leads to mindless eating. “Before you eat something, just pause, take a breath, and if you still want to eat it, that’s fine,” she explained. “A lot of people don’t know what hunger even feels like.”

If this article leaves you with any advice, it is to listen to your body’s signals and find balance in your life. Whether it is your relationship with food, exercise, weight, or even yourself and others, learning to be mindful rather than controlling will lead you to a healthier lifestyle.

**Amy Kline: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP), Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC), member of the American Society for Parental and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), and Certified Vinyasa Yoga Teacher (200 RYT).

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